Ah, the new year. It's back to work, back to school, and back to exercising and eating healthy again—at least healthier than holiday cookies and cake for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
According to a 2012 online Harris poll of 3,036 adults conducted for Norcross's book Changeology, three out of the five top resolutions were weight loss, exercise, and healthier eating. And of course, along with exercise and healthier eating typically comes weight loss.
A 2002 study found that around 75% of people stick to their goals for at least a week, and less than half are still on target six months later. But if they're still going strong after six months, the chances increase for them to succeed.
But enough statistics.
You've likely already made your New Year goals, and if you've read this far, one of your goals probably has something to do with living a healthier lifestyle. If you don't have the time, money or desire to hire a personal trainer or health coach, the next best thing is to use a health and fitness app to help you reach your goals.
There are what seems like endless apps to help get you on the right track and stay there, and that can obviously be overwhelming. So we've narrowed them down to the best, most efficient apps to help you achieve your New Year fitness goals.
Couch to 5K
If you want to start running, but need a push in the right direction, this free Couch to 5K eight-week program gives users three different workouts per week.
Fitnet is perfect for people who don't have time to go to the gym. It offers an array of five and seven minute targeted workouts for you to choose from. The coolest feature? The app uses your phone's camera to measure how closely you follow the moves. It's free with optional in-app purchases and available for iOS and Android.
You don't need any gear to accompany your workouts with Freeletics—it's all bodyweight. There are over 900 workouts to choose from, all which last between 10 and 30 minutes. Choose your fitness level and get started. This app is free for both iOS and Android.
You don't have to be a bonafied yogi to succeed with the Daily Yoga app.
Choose from more than 50 classes shown in HD video, and if you need help with specific poses, sort through a library of detailed videos featuring over 500 poses. It is free with optional in-app purchases; you can install it on both iOS and Android.
Yoga Wake Up
Wake up with yoga, literally. This app delivers a different 10-minute sequence when you wake up. It's free with optional in-app purchases, but only for iOS.
Known as the "internet's Pilates princess," Cassey Ho's Blogilates app gives you access to all of her YouTube videos (she has a lot), healthy recipes, an online forum and a monthly workout calendar. Blogilates is free with optional in-app purchases for both iOS and Android.
Power 20 - Prenatal Workout
Don't let being pregnant get in the way of your fitness routine—well, at least a modified fitness routine. Power 20 offers safe and healthy routines designed specifically for expecting moms.
Love exercising outdoors, but aren't sure where to go? Enter your location to find plenty of suggestions for hiking, biking, kayaking, and skiing with reviews and tips from people who have been there. It's free on both iOS and Android.
Nike+ Training Club
A top-of-the-line fitness app, the Nike+ Training Club app offers workouts designed by trainers and athletes, customizable fitness programs and sharing capabilities to compare your progress with others. It's free on both iOS and Android.
Keep track of your workouts simply by entering them into Strong.
Specifically designed for weightlifting, the app also has the flexibility to track any style of fitness routine. It's free, iOS only.
Endomondo is great because it let's you set your own goals and then holds you accountable. Set a goal for your walk, run or bike ride, and the app’s virtual trainer lets you know if you’re on track to meet it. This app is free though it has optional in-app purchases. You can install it on iOS and Android.
Simple Workout Log
Simple Workout Log is designed to replace your paper workout journal. It's a very minimalistic approach, but still has some really great features to help keep your fitness on track. The app offers a summary page with stats from your previous workout, powerful graphing of both strength and cardio exercises, the ability to log supersets, cloud backup and the option to export to Excel. It's free on iOS and Android.
Use the built-in GPS to track your fitness activities with MapMyWalk.
Meal Planning/Calorie Counting
A multi-faceted weight loss tool, MyPlate offers an integrated workout program designed by celebrity trainer Nicky Holender along with daily motivations and tips, nutrition charts, goal tracking, and, of course, the ability to track your meals in a holistic way. MyPlate doesn't just keep track of the calories you consume, but also reports on sodium, cholesterol, and more. You can even export your data to share with your doctor. It's available for both iOS and Android. (Note: MyPlate is published by Livestrong, Techwalla's sister site which is also owned by Leaf Group.)
ShopWell is a completely personalized food shopping experience. Enter in your height, weight, age and allergies, and the app scores all food on how healthy it is for you (the closer to 100 the better). It even offers recommendations for similar, healthier products to eat instead. ShopWell is free for both iOS and Android.
The most popular health and fitness app, MyFitnessPal has a database of over six million foods.
Just enter in your dietary restrictions and goals, and the app helps determine the best things to eat to meet your goals. You can download it for free (with optional in-app purchases) on iOS and Android.
Ingredient1 helps determine the best foods to eat based on your dietary restrictions. Answer a series of questions about your typical diet, including foods you must avoid, and the app introduces you to hundreds of products that fit your criteria. It even finds stores nearby where you can buy the products. It's free, but only available on iOS.
Snap It by Lose It!
Lose It! is designed to help you lose weight in a healthy way. It's a simple, easy-to-use, personalized program that helps you stay within your allotted calorie budget.
Here's the really cool part: Snap It is a new addition to the program, and all you need to do is snap a photo of your food, and the app estimates the calories for you. It's free, available for iOS and Android.
Rise pairs you with a nutritionist who holds you accountable for everything you eat. Send photos of the food you eat daily, and then based on your individual goals (losing weight, gaining strength, feeling more energized), your nutritionist will help you tweak your diet. It's a littler pricey at $14.99 per week, but it’s a lot cheaper than in-person appointments with a nutritionist. It's free with optional in-app purchases, only on iOS.
A calorie counter that includes a food diary, nutrition database, healthy recipes, exercise log, weight chart and journal. FatSecret also comes with a barcode scanner to help track packaged foods. To track your overall progress, the app offers a monthly summary view, which shows total calories consumed each day and total averages for each month. Install it for free on iOS and Android.
Cron-o-meter helps you easily keep track of your diet, exercises and body weight. It offers very exact serving sizes and a good exercise database, and even offers you adjustments based on whether or not you're following a specific diet. There's a profile option for pregnant and lactating women, which is based on higher calorie needs. This app costs $2.99; install it on iOS and Android.
Main image: Ben's Bargains